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A Trip Around Saturn (25 photos)

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After nearly 13 years in orbit around Saturn, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is now preparing for its “Grand Finale.” In April of 2017, Cassini will begin a series of dives between the gas giant’s cloudtops and the inner rings—on its way to a fiery end when it burns up in Saturn’s atmosphere on September 15. As scientists prepare for a new flood of never-before-seen images, a look back at some recent (and fairly recent) images of the Saturnian system taken by Cassini.

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The vortex at Saturn’s north pole, imaged by Cassini from a distance of 248,578 miles (400,048 kilometers) away, on November 27, 2012. (NASA / JPL-Caltech / Space Science Institute)


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